Oct 152013
 

Danatus King Sr., photographed at the NAACP Freedom Fund banquet in 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

Danatus King Sr., photographed at the NAACP Freedom Fund banquet in 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo)

NAACP New Orleans Branch President Danatus King Sr. will run for mayor against Mitch Landrieu, questioning the city’s strategy on major issues such as police reform, recreation and economic opportunity.

In an interview Tuesday afternoon, King confirmed his intention to run, the first announced challenger to the mayor.

“I don’t know if anyone else has stepped forward, but I am definitely running,” King said.

King has been critical of the administration on a number of its top initiatives, and those same concerns are prompting him to run, he said.

On the same day that Landrieu announced a budget that includes no funding for the Sheriff’s Office consent decree, King said he is frustrated by the time and money the mayor has spent fighting the federal order — especially after Landrieu initially said he invited the Department of Justice to New Orleans in the first place. Both the NOPD and Sheriff’s Office consent decrees should be fully funded, King said.

“Now you’re paying attorneys to fight what you’ve already agreed to,” King said. “Either you spend the money implementing both decrees, or you spend the money fighting them and spend the money paying judgments against us because of the improper police actions or improper actions occurring inside the jail.”

Early in Landrieu’s term, King was one of the most outspoken critics of the plan to create the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission, and he said that the planned public-private partnership has not worked. Millions of dollars in private funding were promised if the change was approved, King said, but instead the city pools had to close this summer before children even returned to school.

“We were told there would be such an improvement at our parks. That didn’t happen,” King said. “In my opinion, that’s been a failure.”

King said he has a number of concerns about the state of public education in New Orleans, but one problem the city government could solve would be the long commutes children face to and from schools, many getting up before dawn and home after dusk. Those children could be issued passes on the public buses instead of waiting on the school’s yellow buses, he said, improving their health and protecting them from violent crime.

“That’s something we could take care of right now,” King said.

Ultimately, King said, recovery money is still flowing into New Orleans, but those contracts are too often being awarded to out-of-state companies. Meanwhile, large areas of the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth wards have changed very little since Hurricane Katrina, he said.

“We need to make sure our local and DBE contractors get the proper share of those contracts,” King said. “All the money that’s flowed through our city, just a portion of that remains in the city. But all of us would be doing better… The more we’re able to build our tax base, that’s the more revenue to pave our streets.”

King said he looks forward to debating the mayor on the issues, and that the discussion will be healthy for the city.

The Landrieu campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on King’s candidacy Tuesday afternoon.

City elections in New Orleans will be Feb. 1, with any runoffs necessary on March 15. Qualifying for candidates runs from Dec. 11-13.

  14 Responses to “NAACP New Orleans president to challenge Landrieu for mayor”

  1. He said DBE. It’s not that I was ever going to vote for anyone but Mitch in the first place, but Mr. Danatus can go have a love in with Ira Thomas and all their DBE’s and they can keep their racist policies to their own households. Let the most qualified low bidders do work on our city properties, not the ones who’s quality is their skin tone.

    • Hear, hear. And let’s not forget the corruption that’s often involved, as with well-heeled firms hiring a minority face for DBE contracts. Not that it matters much to me, though, seeing as the entire program is geared towards unfairness.

  2. Well, this promises to be ugly and divisive

  3. DBE-qualified contractors are pouring millions into elections…see Ira Thomas and this guy.

  4. since there is no real info on his background on wiki. Cane we please get a bio on this man. Where he is from, what schools he graduated from,military service, and present real job in NOLA?

  5. Could someone tell me what DBE stands for?

  6. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise! Check your status in life and ask are you truly happy before jumping the gun on uneducated conceptions. All candidates have flaws but if you negative speaking individuals had any real knowledge, they’re name would be on the ballot as well. ENOUGH SAID!

  7. *their

  8. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise is what DBE for those who can’t comprehend or grasp the focal point. Its unfortunate that such individuals grasp the negatives of anything and seek company. All candidates have flaws but if you, the poster, think you’re better than any candidate….then YOU RUN FOR OFFICE! Mitch has his agenda just as King and others that may attempt to oust him. Don’t go hyping the race card if you’re so against it because that only make you an hypocrite! Just saying….judge not for no man is perfect.

  9. Lyle,

    Brief bio: He was born in New Orleans and bounced between here and California in his early years. He founded a small business, took night classes at UNO and later went to law school to become an attorney. He has his own law practice now and has been head of the local NAACP since 2005.

  10. Bring in a lot of infill to bring areas not brought back after Katrina above sea level. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time before thousands drown during the next catastrophe.

  11. I’d like to forward this article, but there doesn’t appear to be an email send function on this page.

  12. FYI
    DBE is not limited to race. It actually accounts for more white woman businesses that have been very successful over the years. I see bids by the city written so that new business can’t apply. These type of tactics are why we need rules to promote contractual diversity. I guarantee if economics was shared then crime and murder would be cut in half. Everybody wants a piece of the pie but some have hogged it for centuries. But before you give flip answers my family has a non DBE company for 65 years before the taxicab reform has us in the red because of lack of financing and profits due to higher cost but no change in revenues. My state university degree didn’t teach this type of microeconomics and governance.

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